Archives for: June 2011
Traditional wisdom says that weight is directly related to calories. If you take in more calories than you burn off; then you gain weight. If you burn off more calories than you take in; then you lose weight. I have never found that to be true for myself.
When my Honorable Husband and I were first married we were together all the time. We ate the same things; we worked at the same office; we socialized and exercised together. He stayed trim and lean with no effort at all. I struggled to keep from gaining weight.
I remember one night in particular preparing a dinner of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. He ate a heaping plate of noodles topped with homemade meat sauce, a big salad, and two pieces of garlic bread. I poured meat sauce over my salad and thought, “This is NOT fair.”
The memory of that evening was one of the things that made it so easy for me to accept the Blood Type Diet and the reality that wheat and Type Os are irreconcilable enemies.
Another event occurred last week that reaffirms my doubts about traditional wisdom and calories.
The ladies in our Bible Study class decided to have a salad luncheon on Saturday. I took a turkey salad made with apples, craisins, and walnuts. That way I knew that the Type Os, including myself, would get plenty of protein. I had expected that there would be lots of green salads, and maybe a fruit salad or two.
Boy, was I wrong. There was one green salad, one fruit salad, and one tuna salad. All of the other salads were beautiful gelatin salads loaded with sugar, whipped cream, fruit, and…calories. Except for one plate of crackers, there was no wheat in the room.
I decided that while too much sugar is bad for anyone, sugar is not avoid. I stayed away from the crackers but I tried every one of those gorgeous salads. The recipes may have said salad, but they all tasted like dessert to me.
If I eat so much as a cookie or one piece of pizza, the very next morning my scale will tell me that I’ve gained 3 pounds. Those three pounds (a direct result of a small amount of wheat) will stay with me for 2-3 days.
The morning after eating all that sugar, I got on the scale with fear and trembling. I hadn’t gained any weight. The next morning I got on the scale again thinking that perhaps it took 36 hours for the sugar to circulate around looking for a fat cell to latch onto. But again my weight was stable.
I’m sure if I ate that much sugar every day, week in and week out, that I would gain weight. However, if I ate that much sugar every day, I would begin to have other health problems that would be a worse than my jeans fitting too tight.
Reality for me is in the Type O Little Book. My weight loss key is “wheat, corn, navy beans, lentils, cabbage and dairy.” Wheat is listed number one. Traditional wisdom can say what it will, but BTD trumps calories in this Type O body.
One more story from the luncheon. There was a reading basket in the bathroom, and right on top was one of the BTD Little Books. I asked our hostess if she followed the Blood Type Diet. She said, “No, someone gave me that book, but I’ve never read it.” I was sad. It’s like seeing a dusty Bible on a coffee table. Truth is in the house, but unless the book is opened and read, it has no impact.
I’m hoarding again, but it’s beef this time. In 2010 there was there was a rumor of a pumpkin shortage. I ignored it, because there was plenty of pumpkin on the shelves at my grocery store…until June, when Libby’s pure pumpkin was suddenly unavailable. There were still limited cans of organic pumpkin. Organic pumpkin is less flavorful, watery and more expensive, but I bought it anyway because it is a beneficial food that DD and I eat at least twice a week. I wrote a blog about traveling to three grocery stores and buying all the organic pumpkin they had. I felt a little guilty about hoarding.
Now I am hearing another rumor. The local radio stations say that cattle are suffering because of the severe drought in Texas. Ranchers are beginning to sell off their stock. Better to get what they can now, than wait until the cattle start to lose weight or the ranchers have to buy feed in the summer time. The expectation is that beef prices may drop in the short term, but will skyrocket later this year.
I have no idea whether the rumor is true, but I have started picking up a couple of pounds of extra lean ground beef every time I go to the store and stashing them away in the freezer. If the rumor is true I will still be able to eat beef every week. If the cattle situation is exaggerated, I’ll have fun cleaning out the freezer and enjoying lots of beef.
I had beef for lunch today in a variation of one of my favorite bowls. In the refrigerator, I found leftover mustard greens and leftover artichokes. I mixed them with ground beef and ¼ carton of hummus. For “dessert” I chopped up half an apple and heated it in the microwave with pumpkin and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. A Type O meal doesn’t get much better than that.
I’m back from a morning bicycle ride and very thankful to ESS for making this ride such a pleasure.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, you may remember that ESS made his first appearance about a year ago. He and DD met last June and began dating. I called him ESS because he was an Exercise Sports Science major. By the time he and DD met, he felt God calling him to be a pastor. He was so close to graduation that he finished the ESS degree and is now going to seminary. I believe God will use his interest in sports as a connection point when he talks to young people about the Bible and their relationship to Christ.
ESS has participated in several sports, but his primary sport is bicycle racing. And on his last visit to our house, he did something to my bicycle that has me feeling young again.
Sometime last fall I punctured the tire on my bike. I didn’t ride for a few weeks until I could get the bike into a repair shop. The next time I rode, I felt like my balance was off. It wasn’t a big deal; it was just a little harder to control the bicycle on hills. I had this problem once before on a windy day, but this time the wind was calm. I thought it would go away as I got back into practice. But it didn’t. Then the weather got cold and I stopped riding for the winter.
I had forgotten about the balance issue when I took my first ride in the spring, but I noticed it immediately. It was not my imagination. I was working so hard to keep the bicycle steady that I would come home with sore arms. This was ridiculous; bicycling is supposed to work my leg muscles, not my arm muscles.
It was also discouraging. I know that to stay in shape as I get closer to 60 years old, I have to keep my core muscles strong. One of the early signs of loss of core strength is lack of balance. I wasn’t having trouble with any other exercise, just bicycling. But whenever I rode, I felt old.
One day I went for a ride and as I struggled to keep the bike going straight up a hill, I noticed that the center of the handle bars was not lined up with the front tire. I blinked and looked again. It was off by at almost an inch. I guess the repair shop didn’t check the alignment, or maybe it was bumped getting it out of the trunk. No wonder I was having to struggle to keep the bike upright, and no wonder my arms were tired.
DD and ESS came for a visit that weekend. He found the tools he needed and aligned the handlebars. Today’s ride was a pleasure. My legs are tired, as they should be, but my arms are normal.
Here are two things to consider from my experience. First, are you taking care of your core muscles? They are the key to balance and the key to being able to enjoy the strenuous exercise that is so beneficial for Type Os. Second, never jump to conclusions with anything regarding exercise and health. The solution may be as simple as finding the right size Allen wrench.
It has nothing to do with this blog, but you might be interested to know that when DD graduated, she applied for jobs in the city where ESS goes to seminary. She was blessed with a position in advertising and social media. Now they get to spend more time together than weekend visits between classes. I am very happy for the two of them and for DD’s wonderful job, but I sure do miss my kitchen helper and exercise partner.
Of all the professional hats that I wear, I think my favorite is event photographer. This week I was the official photographer at an elegant fund raising event. My assignment was to show the whole spectrum of supporters having fun. The first part of the assignment was easy because such a variety of people attended. There were high profile people – the mayor, community leaders, and board members. There were also many people who benefit from this particular non-profit organization. The second part of the assignment was also easy because from the silent auction to the four course dinner to the live music and dancing, everyone did indeed have a wonderful time.
Perhaps you are wondering if I will ever get around to the Blood Type Diet in this blog. Just wait, I’m getting there.
I arrived early, and began taking pictures of table decorations and ice sculptures even before the first guests arrived. I got pictures of tuxedoed waiters carrying trays of hors d'oeuvres and ladies in beaded gowns bidding on a weekend get-away. As dinner time drew near, I circulated among the tables taking pictures of people talking.
My employer wisely knew that the guests would not want to be photographed with forks in the air and food in their mouths. She told me to put away the camera when the food was served and return to work when the speeches started. She even found me a seat at one of the tables. The food was delicious and elegantly served.
The salad was mixed greens – not a shred of iceberg lettuce to be found! I ate mine with lemon juice, though the others at the table said the vinaigrette dressing was wonderful. The main course was beef tenderloin. I don’t know what the Type As in the room did, but this Type O was in taste bud heaven. The beef tenderloin was served with two vegetables. Asparagus and spinach topped with feta cheese and sautéed onions & peppers. One of the vegetables I have missed on the BTD is creamed spinach. The spinach and feta combination was even better than my memories of creamed spinach. I’m going make this at home, and soon.
There was a basket of bread, which I easily passed to the guest on my left. But I did not pass on dessert. At each place was a small plate with 5 elegant bite sized desserts. Each was a work of art. Three of them contained wheat, but I enjoyed them without guilt.
Then dinner was over, and I was back at work. Three hours on my feet snapping pictures wasn’t exactly strenuous exercise, but it certainly qualified as a workout.
I think that every year at this time, I write a blog about this same topic. During the winter I eat fresh bananas, apples, pineapple, grapes and grapefruit. Most other fresh fruit is expensive in the winter, so I supplement with frozen blueberries, cherries and cranberries. I also buy some dried fruit like prunes, apricots, and figs. I have to be careful with dried fruit, because I have a tendency to eat way too much if I’m eating it right out of the bag. It’s better if I mix it with pumpkin or put it on top of a salad.
I love fruit, and when the summer fruit starts to come in, I am so excited. Watermelons are already red and sweet. I guess that is one good thing about a hot, dry summer. I pick the one with the brightest yellow spot to get a watermelon that is ripe.
Cherries are inexpensive this year. I wonder why. Are more people growing cherries, or is the economy so bad that people can’t afford them? I don’t know, but my Honorable Husband and I are eating lots of cherries.
My grocery store used to carry frozen guava. They discontinued it last winter to my disappointment, but they are carrying fresh guava this summer. The seeds in fresh guava are not nearly as annoying as the seeds in frozen guava.
Peaches are grown locally in the Hill Country. They have been so delicious, that I haven’t even bought a nectarine yet. HH and I have talked about going to an orchard and picking our own.
The price on blueberries, pears, and mangos has dropped. I wander the produce isle unable to resist the bargains. I there was protein in fruit, I would become a fruitarian for the summer. I’m getting as close as my Type O body can stand. Today’s lunch was a little bowl of salmon and collard greens accompanied by a big plate of watermelon and cherries. Ahhh, it was good.
I’ve been working on some very detailed graphic projects. Spending that much time on the computer makes my shoulders stiff. I’ve also some tough decisions to make. That also makes my muscles tight. I am usually very faithful to exercise, but I let a few days slip by without any intense Type O exercise.
Last night I resolved that no matter what I would get some exercise. It is so dry in South Texas that most of our grass is dormant – at least I hope it is dormant and not completely dead. Usually mowing gives me a good workout once a week, but not this summer. However there was one patch of grass along the driveway that decided to try and go to seed before giving up and turning brown. I cranked up the lawn mower and knocked down the tall seed stalks. Then I put on my swimsuit and headed to the neighborhood pool. I swam laps for 35 minutes.
It was the first time I had been in the lap pool since last year. The water felt good and the exercise felt great. My muscles responded by loosening and relaxing.
The pool is on a hill with views to the south and west. As I swam the sun was setting. Each time I made the turn I could see the colors of the clouds change. It was aesthetically soothing. I got out of the water physically and emotionally refreshed.
I am happy to again be reading on the Forum after a long hiatus. I gave up chat rooms and computer games while I was dealing with my parents’ end of life issues. I didn’t realize how much I had missed the Forum until I got back on a week or so ago. This morning I read a post from “Mother”. After initial success on the BTD she is frustrated. She has been trying to eat only beneficial and diamonds. Now she is not only bored with her food, but experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms.
First a disclaimer. This blog is my opinion. I have never met Dr. D. I have never talked with him. We exchange an occasional e-mail, but he never tells me what to write. This is how I have applied his writings and his speeches that are available on MP3.
Dr. D. never asks us to eat only beneficial and diamonds. I doubt he would consider it to be healthy.
One of the first things that grabbed my attention about the BTD was the concept that “For you some foods act like poison, some foods act like medicine, and some foods act like food.” Beneficials (diamonds) are the foods that act like medicine. Really now, can you imagine existing on medicine- even supplements - alone? Of course not. I maximize beneficials, especially when I am sick or under stress, but I would no more eat only beneficials than I would try to exist on Benadryl, Vitamin B complex, penicillin, and calcium.
Neutrals are good food. They supply energy, phyto-nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and variety. Eat them. They are good for you. I’ll go farther. They are good for you in any amount. If I eat a meal of chicken, butternut squash, and English peas, I have eaten a good meal.
This was from a FAQ column on the BTD website.
What is compliance?
• If you are recovering from an illness or desire weight loss, then 80%-100% of your food choices should be highly beneficial.
• If you are a healthy individual over the age of 55, 80% of foods should be beneficial.
• If you are under 55 and healthy, 70% or more of your food choices should beneficial.
• The remainder of your food choices should be neutral. Avoids should not be eaten.
Dr. D. wrote in his Ask Dr. D’Adamo column that “Generally 70-80% total compliance works well in most people (out of 10 food choices, 7-9 being neutral or beneficial choices)” To me, that means that 1-3 food choices technically could be avoid.
If you have read my blog for very long, you know that I don’t eat avoids at home. I don’t even keep things that are avoid for both As and Os in the house. I try not to eat avoids in restaurants, but if one sneaks in I do not worry about it. I do eat avoids at parties and when I am a guest in someone’s home. Sometimes I feel negative effects. That reminds me why I love this diet! Sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. That reminds me that my body is not hyper sensitive, and that 70 – 80% compliant builds health.
I am happy on this diet. I am satisfied physically and emotionally. I have been content for almost 8 years. I stay happy and satisfied because I freely enjoy neutrals, and I give myself a break once in a while on avoids.
To “Mother” and others like her, I would say that I would be bored too if I ate only beneficials. I’ll be honest. If I had eaten such a limited diet as only beneficials for 2 years, I would abandon the BTD and go looking for something else. But Dr. D. has never put those kinds of restrictions on us. Neutrals are good for food. Enjoy them and the delicious variety they bring to the BTD.